I was a skeptic about Barack Obama, hearing emptiness in his words and fearing inexperience in his resume. No more. I was hoping to be proven wrong and so far it’s becoming clear that I was wrong. I have been delighted with his leadership since the election, his appointments with experience, his openness to former opponents, his magnetic attraction to a center, his image. I also underestimated his ability to carry the symbolism of his election. Dare I say it: When we most need it, he brings hope.

Fred Wilson is disappointed with inaugurapalooza because it isn’t different. I’m not. I think the symbolism is important: everything that existed is passed to the next generation. That doesn’t say that things aren’t changing. It says the platform is changing hands and that’s where the change comes: what you do with it.

All the Obama fans who growled at my doubts about him and my support of Clinton can nya-nya me now. But I don’t think that’s what this day is about. It’s about unity. At least for today.

  • I’ve been somewhat troubled by the splendor of inauguration against the backlight of a horrid economy and massive debt levels. On one hand this further exemplifies the worst that we’ve had, let’s party today and not worry about the consequences. On the other hand at a time when so much looks so bleak, you need to give people hope and something to celebrate. Perhaps this is that. Anyway, your analogy of these marking something that is being passed from one generation to another is a good one.

  • Steve

    Speaking as a non-American, I can testify to the enormous goodwill for America that has followed his election. We’re also kind of hoping he’ll save the rest of us from the mess we’re in. People resent America when it has a fool like Bush charging around, but most realise our own politicians are not significant players. We’re relieved that you appear to have elected a man of intelligence and integrity whom the world can at least respect. Good on you!

  • hmmm… while stuffing his entire team with clinton and bush people speaks well to obama’s judgment, it also supports the notion of “empty suit”, doesn’t it?

  • having been in chicago on election day and most of the night, i declined the opportunity to attend today’s events. not like i wouldn’t have had a great time, but i really didn’t want to spoil the magic of that (70 degree!) day last november. you must remember, that day the outcome was uncertain and unscripted whereas today everything has been planned to the t.

    no regrets.

    the person who took my place there has emailed repeatedly and expressed their thanks. it’s great to see it went to someone who is ‘all fired up, ready to go!’.

    one sad note– my friends from the lonely island of moloka’i had to trade in their surf trunks and aloha shirts for what looks like a shawl collar monkey suit! (click my id)


  • nya-nya- … OK j/k

    You’re right, Jeff. Today is a day of celebration for all Americans — no matter what race, creed, party affiliation or candidate affiliation. I’m so glad to read these words. I knew you’d come around. ;-)

  • Happy you are on board with, dare I say it – a politician in touch. Isn’t that a contradiction of words? Anyway happy to hear you are smiling with the rest of us.

  • Joe

    I want Obama to succeed. I really do. Watching him pick insider after insider (not to mention lobbyists that he specifically claimed he would not pick) around him it makes me do nothing but think he is just another one of them and will do all of the same crap that got us where we are. Obama represents hope only because people want hope so they have found it in him. Whether that is worth more than a hill of beans remains to be seen.